The name Spierghan was carried to England
in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest
of 1066. Spierghan is a name for a watchman or guardian,
and indicates the profession of the first person who used the name.
Early Origins of the Spierghan family
The surname Spierghan was first found in Shropshire
where they were known as the Spearmans of Dunnington, anciently spelt Donington. The village at this time was only a Mill, and was owned by Earl Roger, from whom the Spearmans are conjecturally descended. Nearby is St.Cuthbert's well, the water of which is said to cure eye complaints. The family was "seated there since the Conquest, and said to be descended from the old Lords of Aspramont." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
A branch of the family was found at early times in Thornley in Durham
. "The township comprises the two estates of Thornley Hall and Gore Hall, both of which have been the property of the Spearman family for more than 150 years. Thornley Hall, a spacious mansion supposed to occupy the site of the castle, is situated on a commanding eminence." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Spierghan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spierghan research.Another 207 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1542, 1614 and 1645 are included under the topic Early Spierghan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Spierghan Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. When the Normans
became the ruling people of England
in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Spearman, Speerman, Speirman, Spearmen, Speermen and others.
Early Notables of the Spierghan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Spierghan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Spierghan family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England
. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Spierghan or a variant listed above were: Harry Spearman and John settled in Virginia in 1608; 12 years before the "Mayflower" arrived; James Spearman arrived in Virginia in 1650; Mary Spearman arrived in Maryland in 1750..
The Spierghan Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Dum spiro spero
Motto Translation: While I have breath I hope.